Infectious Disease
Infectious Disease
Viruses, bacteria and parasites are among the many infectious challenges humans face. At Salk we seek to understand infection and immunity in new ways, from finding novel techniques to image and decode the structure of infectious agents to treating pathogens less as enemies to be vanquished and more as potential allies on the road to health.

Imaging solves mystery of how large HIV protein functions to form infectious virus

Assistant Professor Dmitry Lyumkis, co-first author Dario Passos, and colleagues from Rutgers University have determined the molecular structure of HIV Pol, a protein that plays a key role in the late stages of HIV replication—the process through which the virus propagates itself and spreads through the body. The molecule’s structure helps answer long-standing questions about how the protein breaks itself apart to advance the replication process. The discovery reveals a new vulnerability in the virus that could be targeted with drugs.

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